June 25, 2020
1 John 4:1-3 (NKJV) — 1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God. 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
Pastor Weston identified this first section as, “learning God’s truth.” He said, “Just because something comes from somebody important and sounds good or Christian doesn’t mean it is.” Voices of deception will imitate Christ to persuade us to listen. Satan is a master liar and the world is his domain.
How can you identify different voices (or spirits) in your life and test them to see if they are of God or of deception?
When reflecting on the passage this week, what persuasive voices in your life were you able to identify as the spirit of deception?
1 John 4:6-8 (NKJV) — 6 We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Verse 6 declares our identity in God fundamental for distinguishing between the truth of God and voices of deception. Verses 7 and 8 then reveal love as what confirms our identity in God and our ability to hear God’s voice. Pastor Weston said, “God’s love is manifested to us by Jesus and perfected in us for the world.”
How are you protected from the voices of deception and what practical ways do you experience that protection?
How can you help keep others from being deceived?
Considering the voices of deception that try to persuade you and those around you, how does God’s love continue to be perfected in you?